'ORNI'ate drapes from royalty

They don't call her a diva without reason. The epitome of dignity with a distinct style, Bollywood actress Rekha’s fashion sense is largely inspired by tradition. The legendary actress, who is mostly clad in dazzling Kanjeevarams with gorgeous gold jewellery opted for a slightly hatke look at a recent wedding.

Modern day fashionista trolls with limited knowledge of classical fashion, have poked fun at her modern version of a khada dupatta by calling it a “pant suit.” For the uninitiated, it’s a look inspired by the Hyderabadi Chaugoshiya — a 150-year-old  sartorial style essentially worn by Hyderabadi Muslim women during their nikaah ceremony. As the name suggests, the outfit comprises of Chau or four garments — a choli (tight blouse), a kurti (loose tunic) a tight pajama (pants) and a five metre khada dupatta that is draped in a special way. 

Bengaluru-based designer Seema Malhotra elaborates further “The khada dupatta is a Nawabi outfit. It has a sari blouse which is worn inside a kalidar kurta and a churidaar. It comes with a 5.5 metre tissue dupatta whose borders are heavily layered. The dupatta is tucked at the back of the churidaar and then creatively placed under the arm and draped over the shoulder. The colour combinations are varied, red and gold, pink and gold, etc and it projects a very regal and aristocratic look.” The khada dupatta is mostly worn by Hyderabadi Muslim brides and is part of the bridal trousseau in the Charminar city.

Concurring with her, Delhi based-designer Nida Mahmood adds, “If you trace the history of the khada dupatta back to the royals, these outfits would be worn in soft brocades or net with heavy hand embroidery.”

Rekha has innovatively modified a Kanjeevaram white and gold sari, wearing it with a long-sleeved blouse, draped in the manner of a khada dupatta. She has given the kalidar kurta a miss.  “This looks like a new-age version. Perhaps, a new way to drape a sari inspired by the khada dupatta,” adds Nida 

Fashion designers constantly seeking inspiration have perhaps decided to give a modern day twist to this beautiful garment. “Anamika Khanna’s draped saris are inspired by the khada dupatta. Recently, for a private wedding, I designed a beautiful red khada dupatta with a twist. I designed velvet pajamas with beautiful zardosi and a brocade kurti in red and pink,” reveals Seema.

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